If you walk into a coffee shop, all the drink names can quickly become confusing. You hear words like Frappuccino, cappuccino, latte, and coffee. You’re probably wondering, “What’s the difference?”
The main difference between a Frappuccino, a cappuccino, and a latte is the amounts of coffee and milk as well as the drink size. They also vary in whether they are served hot or iced.
This article will help you know exactly what each drink is and how to tell them apart. You don’t have to be confused by all the coffee lingo any longer.
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What is a Frappuccino?
Now here is where things get tricky. Not all Frappuccinos have coffee in them. Some flavors, like Strawberry Crème, Vanilla Bean, and Caramel Ribbon Crunch Crème, do not have coffee.
As for the Frappuccinos that have coffee, you’re getting about a half cup of instant coffee in a grande.
Generally speaking, Frappuccinos are a very sweet drink. The average amount of sugar in a grande size is 46 grams. So if you like your coffee sweet, this may be the drink for you.
What is a Cappuccino?
A cappuccino is one to two shots of espresso topped with steamed milk and milk foam. The espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam are all in equal ratios in this drink.
This makes a cappuccino a small drink at about 5 fluid ounces. So you will see this drink served in a smaller cup compared to many other coffee drinks.
Cappuccinos are traditionally served hot. However, you can order an iced cappuccino at places like Starbucks.
But many coffee connoisseurs argue ordering an iced cappuccino ruins the experience of drinking the layers of milk foam and steamed milk in the drink.
What is a Latte?
The next drink on our list is called a latte and is probably the most popular one.
A latte is one to two shots of espresso topped with steamed milk with a small frothed milk layer. For every part espresso, you should have two parts steamed milk.
Lattes can be served hot or iced. However, iced lattes will not come with milk froth on top.
Lattes also come in a variety of flavors. If you go to a coffee shop, you could get a vanilla latte or any flavor of syrup that you’d like.
Because there is more milk than coffee in this drink, it makes a creamy and smooth coffee drink that many people enjoy.
Frappuccino vs Cappuccino
The main difference between a Frappuccino and a cappuccino is the amount of coffee, the size of the drink, and how it’s served.
A Frappuccino has about half a cup of instant coffee, while a cappuccino uses one to two shots of espresso. Consequently, the cappuccino will have a stronger and more bitter coffee taste to it.
Also, recall that not all Frappuccinos have coffee in them. So this is another factor that really sets these drinks apart.
A cappuccino is typically served hot, while a Frappuccino is only served cold. So depending on the season, choose one vs. the other.
Lastly, a Frappuccino is a much bigger drink than a cappuccino. A grande Frappuccino will be about 16 ounces, while a cappuccino is a mere 5 ounces. Both drinks are great, but for very different reasons.
Frappuccino vs. Latte
The main difference between a Frappuccino and a latte is the type of coffee used and how the drink is prepared.
Like a cappuccino, a latte uses one to two shots of espresso as the coffee base. In contrast, a frappuccino uses about half a cup of instant coffee. So once again, the coffee taste will be stronger in the latte.
Both Frappuccinos and lattes have whole milk in them. But what sets them apart is how the milk is used in each drink.
In a Frappuccino, the milk is blended in a blender with coffee and ice. In a latte, the milk is either steamed or frothed on top of the espresso shots if served hot.
A latte can also be served iced, but this still won’t create the same consistency as the blended frappuccino. The frappuccino will have an almost milkshake-like consistency, while an iced latte will look more like an iced coffee.
Cappuccino vs. Latte
The main difference between a cappuccino and a latte is the ratio of espresso to milk.
Both drinks can contain one to two shots of espresso. But where they differ is the amount of milk added.
A cappuccino will have equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. A latte will have one part espresso to two parts steamed milk.
As a result, a latte is a much creamier coffee drink compared to a cappuccino.
A latte will also be larger. A latte can be 12 to 16 ounces, while a cappuccino is only 5 ounces.
Technically both drinks can be served iced. However, a latte will taste better served iced, while a cappuccino is better left served in its traditional hot form.
Which Drinks Can Have Flavored Syrups?
If you’re not a fan of the taste of plain coffee, you might be wondering which of these drinks can be flavored.
Technically, you can add flavored syrups to any one of these drinks.
It’s more common to add flavored syrups to frappuccinos and lattes. But you can also add syrup to a cappuccino.
The syrup will most likely blend better in a frappuccino and a latte. This is because they do not have distinct layers of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam like cappuccino.
Which Drink Is the Most Expensive?
When considering ordering any of these drinks, you probably want to know which one costs the most.
Generally, a Frappuccino will cost you the most at places like Starbucks. But this is not always true if you’re getting a specialty drink.
A grande Frappuccino will cost you about $3.95 right now. A grande Café Latte will be about $3.65. Keep in mind that’s the cost of a plain latte.
Seasonal or specialty lattes are often more expensive at Starbucks. For example, a grande Pumpkin Spice Latte can cost $5.45.
A grande Cappuccino will come in at around $3.65 as well. They are all similar in price range. But adding on syrups and toppings will increase your drink's price the most.
All the coffee lingo at coffee shops can make ordering a drink confusing. But with a little insight into what each drink is, you can easily navigate the menu.
The main difference between a Frappuccino, a cappuccino, and a latte is how much coffee and milk are in each, the size, and how they are served. A big difference to remember is that not all Frappuccinos have coffee in them.
A Frappuccino is a coffee blended with milk and ice. Cappuccinos and lattes contain espresso shots, but a cappuccino has equal parts espresso, milk, and milk foam. A latte has twice as much milk as espresso.
Frappuccinos will typically taste the sweetest as they are high in sugar. Lattes will be creamier than cappuccinos. And cappuccinos are your best bet if you are craving that strong espresso flavor.
You can’t go wrong by choosing any one of these coffee drinks. And now you can go show off your new coffee lingo by confidently ordering a frappuccino, cappuccino, or latte.